HOW MUCH MONEY I MADE FEBRUARY 2017
I’m here to tell you that no matter how hard you might try NOT to earn an income in retirement, external forces will throw them Benny’s your way.
The less dependent you are on income and the more time flexibility you have, the more desirable you are to certain employers. I am not ready to completely pull the plug on practicing medicine. There are days when it just takes one ill patient interaction for me to want to renounce my medical citizenship. However, for all the abuse I have to suffer in order to practice medicine, I find that I need to get my cut.
TOTAL INCOME FOR FEBRUARY 2017
Kaiser Permanente paid me around $5,009 which wasn’t correct but I gave up on reasoning with them. I finally settled the bill, so I think they will correct the problem starting next pay cycle. This income was already taxed, probably way too much, so I expect to get a lot back come tax season.
Just Answer is another group that I have been doing less and less work for. I earned $305 which is gross. I need to report this income since PayPal and other such companies are now obligated to report certain transaction thresholds to the IRS. So, be weary, if you are exchanging more than $20k a year on PayPal then expect Uncle Sam to shine a flashlight up your ass.
Remedy Health is still paying me quite well for the work I do. That’s around $3,400 for only a few hours a week. I will talk about the individual gigs in more details below. This income is already taxed, it’s all take-home pay.
REVIEW OF MY EMPLOYERS
Haha, isn’t it nice? I now get to review my employers, the tides have turned. I want to briefly talk about the advantages and disadvantages of each employer and the value of the income.
Could I stop generating income altogether? Sure, I could start spending the dividends off of my mutual funds and sell some of my appreciated funds. The reason I have chosen not to do that is because I only have $500k invested. In order for this sum to sustain me, I would have to do maneuver the accounts quite a bit.
It’s doable but not worth the effort. I prefer to generate some income outside of my securities investments because it helps me create the kind of networks I’m looking for.
KAISER PERMANENTE, NORTHWEST
I need to distinguish Northwest Kaiser from Southern California KP, the latter was a lot tougher environment to work in. Leadership was good but there was too much nepotism and too chaotic for my taste.
The patients were more complicated and required more of that customer service touch.
KP in Oregon and Washington is worlds apart, really genuine leadership with friendly doctors. The unionized nurses and staff tend to be similar in both groups, some really hardworking individuals mixed in with those who hide behind union rules.
I have switched to being per diem and I partly feel obliged to help the organization still, because we are perpetually short-staffed and also because I really enjoy the patient interaction in the Northwest.
My boss wanted me to keep putting on the monthly department meetings so he has agreed to pay me some admin time even though I am a lowly peasant per diem.
I have no idea how I used to do them 10-hour shifts before, much less the 14’s. I can do about 4 hours now, beyond that my mind starts thinking about a dark roasted espresso blend pour-over or a vegan pizza from Sizzle Pie. I start dreaming about solving the V5 bouldering problem or going for a walk in Washington Park.
The idea of the business is fantastic, bring patients and doctors together on a website where customers can ask medical professionals about their expert opinions without an actual patient/doctor relationship.
It works because doctors don’t have to “treat” the patients, they can more objectively provide answers. The problem is that it’s not a true 3rd party website that brings in the customer and professional on equal footing.
The doctors have to kiss a little ass, have to get a certain number of stars on a review in order to get paid. In that sense, it’s a complete failure.
If I’m gonna kiss a patient’s ass then I’d rather do it in the urgent care while earning a $300k salary. Questions answered on JA are paid out at $8-12 per question, on average. Sure, sometimes you get paid $25 but other times it’s only $5.
Therefore, I’m doing quite a bit less of this. I’m quite selective about which questions I answer. For putting in around 1 hour a month I earned $300, not bad, I’ll gladly keep putting in that kind of work.
The brains behind JA are working quite hard on improving things, I think there is a lot of potential for JA yet to come.
Definitely, my favorite company to work for. I started out consulting for them, answering questions about how the flow should be structured, what questions should be posed to the patients using their virtual platform, etc..
Lately, I am more an employee, seeing the patients that use the app and managing their medical complaints, occasionally ordering medications or ordering labs.
Remedy has hinted at wanting to bring me on full-time. I don’t think full-time means working 8 hours a day since it’s still a startup business. I am considering all options, depends on how they see my role in the company, if it’s simply an employee then I wouldn’t have much interest in it.
HOW MUCH INCOME I NEED TO RUN MY HOUSEHOLD
I figure that if I can make around $1,000-1,500/month then I can sustain my lifestyle. I can read, write, socialize with friends, exercise and learn new things – that’s it, that’s how boring I am. Boring is cheap.
I have been assured by others that it’s not feasible to count on having only $1,500/month of expenses. I suppose I’ll just have to be proven wrong before I believe this. Moms lives off of <$1k/month and has done so for quite a few years.
If I can make a little extra then I can keep adding to my investments. The only reason I would want to do that is so that I have an easier time when it comes to living completely off of my investments.
Adding more money to my savings is a quarternary goal – right after making sure that I have at least 5 beers a week while improving my billiards game.
The current index fund system assures that I will have around 2.5% of dividend-income a year. To replace an income of $18,000 per year, I would need about $720k invested in taxable accounts.
LOOKING AHEAD TO MARCH
I am realizing that this transition from workaholic to lazy bum is tougher than I thought. It requires more time to get adjusted, to find one’s groove.
Though it’s unlikely that I will ever get back to a full-time schedule, it’s important that I gracefully taper off rather than cold turkey the process. I will continue to generate some income whether through my own virtual practice or Remedy or Kaiser.
These gigs are all fairly easy and it allows me to maintain my skills. I suspect I will have another $5k of income monthly moving forward.
That should put me somewhere in the $60-70k for the year. Hopefully, I can change the way I am paid, from a W2 to a 1099, which would drastically help me reduce taxes.